What makes a Bond Girl? Is it the tight sweater? What about a bikini with a dagger in the utility belt? Maybe it’s all the concealed weapons.
I happen to believe that what really makes a gal a Bond Girl is the basic love of James Bond. In that respect (and pretty much only in that respect) I am one.
I confess I love all of the Bonds. Sean Connery is steamy, Roger Moore is charming, George Lazenby is loyal, Timothy Dalton is sensitive, Pierce Brosnan is handsome, and Daniel Craig is striking. I mean that literally and figuratively. I even enjoy the 1967 spoof of Casino Royale, in which just about everyone gets a turn being 007, including Peter Sellers, David Niven, and Woody Allen.
I love the character of Bond, created by Ian Fleming, who also wrote the book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I have my own theory about James Bond and Caractacus Potts, but I’ll save that for another blog.
I know that most Bond fans have a favorite. I understand preferring one over another, but as an eternal optimist, I can find something to love in each one. Perhaps that’s why Bond always gets the girl… or girls.
Every Bond movie has at least two or three BGs. There is the “Good Girl.” She can be another spy—British, American, or Chinese—like Goodnight, Jinx, or Wai Lin. She could be the girl with the problem, like Honey or Natalya. Some of the BGs are even disposable, like Jill, Plenty, and Strawberry.
When most people think of Bond Girls, though, they imagine the “Bad Girls.” These are the ones with the overtly sexual names like Pussy Galore and Xenia Onatopp. I blush just typing them.
There is another category of Bond Girl: “Other.” They are the ones I like best. Moneypenny is priceless, and Dame Judi Dench’s M may be my all-time favorite. She’s the one woman in the world who is immune to Bond’s devilish smile. (I sometimes think that maybe she’s not—but that’s half the fun.)
What makes all of these women vulnerable to Bond? What’s so special about a suave spy with a Walther and an Aston Martin? Well, apart from the broad shoulders and brooding good looks, Bond braves every manner of villain for king and country.
Does he suffer for his noble cause? Often. He’s beaten and tortured constantly, but he never gives in.
Is he ever tricked, misled, or just plain wrong? Oh yeah. He even admits it.
Does he need help from others? All the time. Some of his greatest escapes and rescues have come from the leading ladies.
My favorite escape is from Tomorrow Never Dies. Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh are chased through Hong Kong on
a motorcycle while hand-cuffed, only to face the blades of a helicopter! When the smoke clears, he not only likes her, but he respects her.
Maybe that’s why we love him. He’s not a robot. He’s not a super-hero. He’s just a man on a mission. He’s a bad boy, yes, but in the very best of ways.
I’m ready for my next date with Bond: Skyfall, November 2012.
That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading!